SPRING HILL – Three men were arrested Wednesday night and are each facing 32 counts of vehicle burglary and 32 criminal mischief charges.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Thomas Neve, 19, Manuel Casanova, 18, and Angel Casanova, 18, are each being held at the Hernando County Jail on $86,000 bond, with additional charges still pending.
The arrests follow a string of vehicle burglaries throughout the Spring Hill area. In July and August, there were 57 vehicle burglaries and acts of criminal mischief in which vehicle windows were smashed, valuable items stolen, and car tires punctured, according to the sheriff’s office.
Similarities in the cases led detectives to believe the offenses were related, and the sheriff’s office said detectives established a surveillance and operational plan to address the alarming number of burglaries.
The sheriff’s office said at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday that Deputy Christopher Vascellaro was on patrol when he noticed a suspicious vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. Vascellaro made contact with the three men in the vehicle and noticed several baseball bats, including one with shards of glass.
The sheriff’s office said a waiver was signed to search the vehicle and property belonging to several victims was located.
Detectives were notified and interviews conducted. All three men admitted to committing the criminal mischief acts and vehicle burglaries, according to the sheriff’s office.
Some of the offenses were committed as acts of retaliation and the car the three men were driving was seized under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.